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‘Gods Must Be Angry’ To Climate Change, Tirupati Looks Back At Flood Fury

Tirupati: It was unprecedented rain that brought about the flooding


The Gods have to be offended, locals say, as nothing else aside from local weather change can clarify the fury with which nature burst forth from the Tirumala Hills on to the temple city of Tirupati on Thursday after a torrential rain of 12-14 cm over a couple of hours.

It was unprecedented rain that brought about the flooding, says Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam chief govt Jawahar Reddy. “We had almost 20 cm rain on Tirumala Hills because of which there was heavy floodwater from Tirumala to Tirupati, so low-lying areas in Tirumala and Tirupati were flooded.”

The flood in Tirupati and different districts in south Andhra Pradesh shocked everybody, who noticed viral movies on not simply torrential flooding by no means seen earlier than in Tirupati but in addition as a result of one of many worst drought-prone districts within the nation, Anantapur, got here beneath water.

One of probably the most placing visuals was from Kapila Theertham, by whose facet the Kapileshwaraswamy temple stands. A waterfall burst forth dramatically with ferocity by no means seen earlier than and the whole space got here beneath a torrent of water at one go. Four pillars of the temple have been broken.


Tirupati city bore the brunt. Suddenly roads disappeared and became ferocious rivers the place water flowed at excessive velocity

The ghat (hilly) roads that enable site visitors to go up and down between Tirupati city and Tirumala hills – probably the most visited place of worship on the earth – took the brunt. The rush of water was scary. There have been landslides with boulders falling on the street.

“We have two ghat roads. The up ghat road and the down ghat road. There were huge challenges in up ghat road because of landslides and boulders. There were problems at more than 10 locations. The staff worked round the clock and it is repaired now,” says Mr Reddy.

The walkway, Srivari Metlu or “God’s Stairway”, which pilgrims use to climb from Tirupati to Tirumala, was badly broken; it hasn’t been reopened but.

Tirupati city bore the brunt. Suddenly roads disappeared and became ferocious rivers the place water flowed at excessive velocity, carrying with it vehicles, auto, bikes, cycles, a freezer field, no matter got here in the best way.

People have been seen desperately holding on to their hard-earned property like bikes, and a few clung on to their pals, family members and generally strangers, unable to fathom what may occur subsequent. This was one thing they’d by no means ever seen.


People have been seen desperately holding on to their hard-earned property like bikes, and a few clung on to their pals and family members

Among a number of movies on how the city acquired flooded was one shot by a person who stood atop his home, water working in a powerful present round his home. He is heard crying in concern whereas capturing the surroundings round him.

“Seeing such a fierce flow, we have to conclude it is the fury of nature against which we are helpless. In 30 years, I have never seen anything like this. Only God could save us,” says Yadagiri, who was born and grew up in Tirupati.

Even earlier than the arrival of the National Disaster Response Force, or NDRF, and its state counterpart SDRF, individuals have been serving to one another to remain protected and be rescued from flooded areas. It was public effort that teamed as much as save schoolchildren in a bus that went into the waters.

In Tiruchanur, which has the temple of Goddess Padmavati, consort of Lord Venkateswara Swamy, the video of a double-storey home that fell dramatically into water, unable to face up to its stress, had everybody anxious, fearful about how lengthy the buildings they name houses may face up to the onslaught.

Cows in a gaushala in Tiruchanur getting washed away within the rain was a daunting and traumatic visible that gave individuals nightmares.


Officials say for 10 days earlier than Thursday’s downpour, it had been raining frequently.

But what brought about the huge flooding?

Officials say for 10 days earlier than Thursday’s downpour, it had been raining frequently. So water our bodies have been full, Swarnamukhi river was in spate, and the soil was hypersaturated.

“The torrential rain of 12-14 cm turned into a torrential flood for Tirupati town. There was the problem of encroachments that blocked the natural flow of water,” Tirupati Urban SP Ramesh Reddy advised NDTV.

Not simply Tirupati in Chittoor district, all of the Rayalaseema districts have been affected by rains and flooding. Andhra Pradesh acquired its highest ever northeast monsoon this season, some 39 per cent above regular. But it’s unprecedented rains within the normally drought-prone Rayalaseema districts of Anantpur and Kadapa that brought about the utmost harm, in human lives misplaced, breaking street hyperlinks, reducing off a number of cities and villages.

Andhra Pradesh acquired 139 per cent its typical rains this northeast monsoon, between November 1 and 21, out of which Anantapur acquired 273 per cent (173 per cent extra), YSR Kadapa district acquired 265 per cent, Chittoor acquired 200 per cent and Nellore acquired 138 per cent.

Neighbouring Kadapa obtained 165 per extra rain. Damage to Pencha undertaking introduced in large inflows from upstream like from the Annamayya undertaking and it led to a sudden deluge on the nationwide freeway and marooned individuals on three buses. As many as 20 individuals on the buses couldn’t be rescued alive.

Several roads acquired reduce off, just like the one from Chandragiri to Srinivasa Mangapuram, which confirmed a deep 20-feet reduce. Many roads acquired washed away, so did a couple of bridges, just like the one throughout Papagni river in Kadapa.


Not simply Tirupati in Chittoor district, all of the Rayalaseema districts have been affected by rains and flooding

B Rajsekhar, particular officer appointed for Nellore, mentioned the Central Water Commission had knowledgeable them that Nellore barrage had acquired a document 140-year excessive influx from the Penna river, “which has never been flooded like this”.

The power of the water broke National Highway 16 that connects Chennai and Kolkata close to Kovvuru. The hyperlink has been quickly restored. Some 35,000 individuals needed to be evacuated to 90 aid camps as flood waters took time to recede.

What explains this erratic and extreme monsoon?

Urban flooding has been referred to as a artifical catastrophe, attributable to unlawful building, overcrowding, poor and irresponsible planning, an archaic and overburdened drainage system, ignoring pure topography and to high all of it, corruption.

“Tirupati is supposed to be a smart city, but you can see the condition here. No one has bothered about the city. There are irresponsible constructions everywhere. This is a world tourist centre and yet no one has bothered about it,” complains a resident, Mahesh Rao.

Experts additionally say it’s the affect of irresponsible growth that local weather change is now inside our houses. Research has established that for each diploma Celsius of warming, monsoon rain will improve by 5 per cent.

Climate scientists say the Indian Ocean has been warming quicker than the remainder of the oceans and this can intensify cyclones, excessive rains, and sea degree rise alongside the Indian coast. There is already 50 per cent improve in Arabian sea cyclone and three-fold rise in excessive rain, inflicting floods.

The hazard of a lot extra water circulate shouldn’t be but over. Just abutting Tirupati is Rayala Cheruvu, one of many oldest and largest reservoirs, constructed by Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagaram empire, greater than 500 years in the past. A leak from a bund after the water physique acquired full pressured an emergency evacuation on Sunday of over 18 villages that would get flooded if the bund breaks.

“The bund is in danger of breaking. Please leave as soon as possible. Please leave the village. Please co-operate. Take your valuables and documents and leave. Inform your relatives. The bund is in danger of breaking. Please leave,” was the message on loudspeakers asking individuals to evacuate.

Pradyumna, particular officer to supervise flood rescue and aid in Chittoor district, says for the reason that focus was on saving lives, they needed to transfer individuals, as they might not take any possibilities.

“There is 0.9 TMC water in the reservoir. There is overflow. We have to be careful as so much water has never come into this water body and it was not built to take this much. So downstream villages have been asked to vacate by the district administration,” says Mr Reddy.

Sandbags have been used to fortify parts of the bund that appeared weak. There was additionally an try to open gateways to launch water and reduce stress on the water physique.

The hazard remains to be not over and not less than 30,000 individuals are nonetheless staying away from their houses and villages. Relief materials like meals and water have been being reached to the villagers by street and thru choppers.

“What is to happen if the bund breaks? This government will blame the previous one and vice-versa. But someone must be accountable for why things have gone so wrong that are houses are submerged and there is illegal construction, blocking of waterway… From the field official to the Chief Minister, everyone is answerable,” says an offended villager Yellaiah.

Where the waters have receded, like in Tirupati city, individuals are slowly returning to their houses to rely their losses and attempt to make a recent begin. The fear is there’s prediction of extra rain until December 2 and individuals are praying to the Gods to indicate some kindness.

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